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Sashastra Seema Bal arrests Chinese nationals with bitcoins

They had allegedly entered the country illegally over a fortnight ago and had travelled to Delhi, Noida and other places
Representational image.
Representational image.

Dev Raj   |   Patna   |   Published 14.06.22, 03:04 AM

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) has arrested two Chinese nationals possessing bitcoins worth $50,000, freshly issued ATM cards in the name of Indian citizens and Indian SIM cards from Sitamarhi district of Bihar when the duo were trying to cross over to Nepal.

They had allegedly entered the country illegally over a fortnight ago and had travelled to Delhi, Noida and other places.

“Our men apprehended two Chinese nationals from the Bhittamore check post area in Sitamarhi district on Saturday evening. They were present in the country without valid documents and were trying to cross over to Nepal. They were handed over to the local police and sent to jail on Sunday under the Foreigners Act,” SSB Patna frontier

inspector-general Pankaj Kumar Darad told The Telegraph on Monday.

The two arrested persons have been identified from their passports as Yang Hailong, 35, and Lu Lang, 29. They are said to be residents of Wuhan. They were produced in court and remanded in judicial custody.

“The preliminary inquiry suggests that the two Chinese nationals could be connected to cryptocurrency mining, investment, trade or fraud. Further investigations are being conducted,” Darad said.

Yang’s mobile data suggests that he invests in cryptocurrency and has a firm called Bridge Chain Company Limited registered in England and Wales. He was allegedly carrying bitcoins worth $50,000. Several dubious financial transactions were also apparently noticed in their chats on the Telegram social media platform.

The arrested persons had visas for visiting Nepal. Half a dozen mobile phone SIM cards of different telecom service providers in India, $133, Rs 2,000 in Indian currency notes, cigarettes manufactured in South Korea, three freshly issued ICICI Bank ATM cards issued in the names of Indian citizens, medicines, clothes, candies and used flight boarding passes have been seized from them.

Sleuths from the Intelligence Bureau and other agencies are interrogating them to know more about their motive and travels inside India.

The items recovered from them indicate that they have deep connections with people in the country, sources said.

The SSB, which has its own intelligence wing, found out during the interrogation that Yang and Lu had entered India from Nepal through the Bhittamore area in Sitamarhi district on May 24 on a cycle-rickshaw. They hired a taxi to visit a friend named Kerry in Greater Noida and stayed there till June 9.

“Yang and Lu were just 10 metres from the India-Nepal border when they were arrested. The two had travelled from China to Thailand and then to Nepal before entering India. They claim to be friends and had stayed with a contact at F-G 69, Block B, Jaypee Greens in Greater Noida. It is a posh locality,” an SSB official told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity.

The Chinese duo had been driven from Sitamarhi to Greater Noida and back by one Santosh Thakur. The India-Nepal border is a porous one, without any fence or restrictions on the movement of people.

The sleuths said the two Chinese nationals were well informed about India and efforts were on to find out whether they were connected to any other country’s intelligence agency.

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